MBP ok for main computer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by frocco, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. frocco macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2009

    Do most of you just have one computer?

    I am on my last day to return, and am wondering if I would be better off with an imac or MP base model.

    I have been getting some beachballs and some hesitation.

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  3. iZero macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2011
    Like Hellhammer said, it depends what you do and what you need. If mobility is an issue at all an iMac or MP could cause immense frustration. That being said, I use my iMac for my heavier work tasks. The MBP is actually faster for most things with the 2011 updates, but it's simply not as good of a workhorse for what I do. It's more of a supplement usually, something I use when I absolutely have to be away from home, or when I don't want to be sitting at my desk. But if I have a choice for my heavy duty tasks, I use my iMac.

    But if you'll be at a desk most of the time anyway with your MBP, then it's certainly worth getting an iMac or a MP (in my opinion at least). It's hard to compete with the screen real estate, the storage capacity (my iMac has a 2TB HDD and that is not even nearly enough for me, I should have got a Mac Pro so I could expand it rather than using 6 externals...), so the HDD's on the MBP's are not even approaching big enough for what I do, one reason it could never be my only computer.)

    It really varies from user to user, job to job :) If you tell us a bit more about what you do, it might be easier to recommend something :)
  4. frocco thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2009
    I am not a professional (in the sense I do not make a lot of money).
    I do some web development, gaming and mostly just home finance.

    I thought the MBP would be nice to be able to move around the house.
    Most of the time, I am at my desk.

    So I am thinking maybe I should have purchased a base MP or top imac.
    Although, on the imac, I might hold off until the refresh.
  5. iZero macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2011
    If you can wait until the refresh, and get a higher end iMac, since you're mostly at your desk with the MBP I'd advise you to do that, personally, but that's just me. The Mac Pro is also due for a refresh soon, so you might hold off there also. ( http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac_Pro ) I think you'd be happier with the added storage/screen size of a desktop model, since you're at your desk :)
  6. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    Frank, my MBP has been my only computer for years. I do web design, database management, accounting, publishing, and a lot of other stuff with it, and it has been great. I use it for personal use and to run a non-profit organization.

    Just ordered my upgrade... I'll miss my 2007 MBP but it will be fun to have a newer model.

    If you are having issues with the MBP, then get some help to either fix the issues or get the computer replaced. But for what you are describing, I see no reason why the MBP can't be a desktop replacement for you, unless you are doing some major gaming.
  7. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    I bought a 13" MBP last year. It was supposed to be a secondary computer to my main computer, which was a quad-core PC I built.

    I loved the Mac so much, that I used the PC less and less until it sat unpowered for at least 6 months, and I sold it. Even thought the 2010 dual core was not nearly as powerful for audio work, I still did the audio work on the MBP and dealt with it, because I liked the mobility of the laptop so much.

    Then the desire for more power came over me, I sold the 13" MBP and bought an iMac. I loved that computer, but the lack of mobility frustrated the hell out of me. I hated being chained to my home office whenever I wanted or needed to do something computer related.

    When the quad MBP was announced, it was like a gift from the gods. I returned the iMac and bought the new MBP.

    So if you're like me, and mobility is king, the MBP is an awesome main computer.

    I toyed with the idea of having two Macs at one point, but it begs the question of 'which computer will do what'? Which do I want to sync my iPods with? Which will I do more audio work on? etc. Also two computers to maintain, backup, update, etc.
  8. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    I especially agree with this if you connect an external Keyboard, mouse and monitor at your desk. That way you have the best of both worlds.
  9. frocco thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2009
    As far as major gaming, I planned on buying or building a pc down the road.
    I figured the mac could hold me until then. It seems like I started having problems with I put windows on.

    With I desktop, I thought I would get more bang for the money.

    Maybe I am just freaking out because this is my last day to return it.
  10. ZombieZakk macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2011
    it is my main and only comp i will be buying an external monitor and stand so i can have a bigger screen for excel work but its perfect to be able to bring with me on vacation or trips.
  11. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    Exactly what kind of problems are you having? I run Windows on mine, and it works fine. I'm bootcamping - are you?
  12. ZombieZakk macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2011
    theres no question an imac give you much more for your money but thats the price paid for portability. possibly you could return wait for imac refresh and use an imac/ipad2 or imac/11"air combo

    it all depends if you want it to go with you.
  13. kalsta macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2010
    I couldn't agree more. My 2007 MBP has been a good old workhorse, although I'm pretty convinced the 10.6.5+ updates introduced some problems. I'm looking forward to an upgrade to one of the new ones too.
  14. tcador macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    My 2007 MBP has also been die hard (*knock on wood*). I'm very much looking forward to using my new '11 MBP now that the upgrades are significant enough to warrant an upgrade. I'm keeping my current MBP and have no doubt it will last several more years...

    With the 2011 models, for most people it could suffice as a desktop replacement IMO. Boils down to your preferences as mentioned above (keyboard, external monitor), but it does sound like you've already got a nice setup.
  15. frocco thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2009
    What monitor will you be getting?
  16. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009

    Exactly. In mid-2009 I bought a 13" MBP. It was great for portability, but lacked power. So when they refreshed the imac line and added the 27" imac quad core I jumped on it. The thing is, I rarely use it. I hate being tied to my desk. I run my web/database management mostly from my MBP. Oh sure, if I am doing some heavy spreadsheet comparisons, or working with large images I will use it, but that's more for the screen real estate than the processing power. I always said when Apple came out with a quad core MBP, I would jump on it and basically just use my iMac as a monitor for my MBP and media server.

    My 15" quad core MBP arrives on Monday.
  17. frocco thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2009
    beach balls, some hesitation.

    techtools said my backup drive had problems.
  18. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    On the first part, can you be a little more specific? Hesitation of a couple of seconds? Only with certain processes, or all over? Beachballs with all applications, or one or two specific ones?

    On the second part, have you tried disabling your back-up drive to see if the problems continue without it?
  19. datniceguy macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Hey man. When you plop down $2,400+ on a laptop, you're bound to psyche yourself out somehow. It's human nature to. It's alot of money to spend on a laptop.

    If your gaming really does dictate your computer usage, then maybe you would be more suited towards a custom build that's a dedicated Windows environment. The only thing that would keep me on an Apple product is if I were to utilize OSX in anyway, from a dev stand point that is (like if I were set on using Xcode or the UNIX environment). And even while you're in OSX, since you've set yourself so far back on the 17" MBP, why not invest a little more on RAM to help you run/virtualize Windows?

    On that note, why not just downgrade your MBP? The large screen usually suits designers who are intent on having their desktop mobile. And yes, you can attach a screen as well, but a MacBook Pro won't be as easily upgradable down the road as a desktop. As a gamer, I'd assume you'd want that flexibility.
  20. frocco thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2009
    I have not tried to disable the backup drive yet. Will do later and see.

    On the first part, seems like browsing causes it to happens most.
    Also, poping into the widget screen. You got me thinking, I need to clarify this.
  21. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    Definitely. I'm no expert, but I doubt there's anything wrong with the MBP itself - may be a software issue.
  22. entatlrg, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011

    entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    First, your 17" MBP is a very powerful computer ... it's not the computer but rather what's causing the beach balls that need to be addressed.

    I have a Mac Pro, my wife has an iMac both late models. I buy quite a few 13 and 15" MBP's and the odd MacBook Air for our staff.

    From all the computers I'm familiar with my Mac Pro beach balls the most often ... NOT while editing photoshop or doing heavy lifting tasks but more so when it's when I'm online simple things ... so somewhere there is an internet connection and/or software issue that I should look into.

    Point is it's most likely not a hardware problem ... or if it is then it's possible your 17" has a problem and you should swap it out for another.

    Desktop is good if you are okay with spending 100% of your time at the desk ... if you're want to work away from a desk even 10% of the time then for sure by a MacBook Pro.

    Hope that helps.
  23. ZombieZakk macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2011
    probably a nice 23" monitor i dont know what brand yet though

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